Obama to Veto SOPA?

Huffington Post reports a small victory against SOPA (H.R. 3261 “Stop Online Piracy Act”) and it’s counterpart in the Senate, PIPA (“Protect IP Act”), claiming that President Obama will not support the current legislation. A statement released on behalf of the Obama Administration states, “… we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet. Any effort to combat online piracy must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small.”

The statement issued by Victoria Espinel, Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator at Office of Management and Budget, Aneesh Chopra, U.S. Chief Technology Officer, and Howard Schmidt, Special Assistant to the President and Cybersecurity Coordinator for National Security Staff further states, “We expect and encourage all private parties, including both content creators and Internet platform providers working together, to adopt voluntary measures and best practices to reduce online piracy.”

Some people may interpret this statement by the White House as a sign that Obama will veto SOPA or PIPA if either passes. However, I’m not that optimistic.

Huffington Post further reports “Moving forward, we will continue to work with Congress on a bipartisan basis on legislation that provides new tools needed in the global fight against piracy and counterfeiting, while vigorously defending an open Internet based on the values of free expression, privacy, security and innovation,” the letter also read. SOPA sponsor and House Judiciary Chairman (R-Texas) Lamar Smith issued a statement of his own, “I welcome today’s announcement that the White House will support legislation to combat online piracy that protects free speech, the Internet and America’s intellectual property. That’s precisely what the Stop Online Piracy Act does.”

I previously wrote about SOPA, citing that it could be interpreted to blacklist sites such as YouTube, Facebook, Reddit, Flickr and many more. Since then, the bill has been amended to include “immunity” for sites that voluntarily censor themselves, which means it will be harder to share information online. I do not believe for one second that SOPA, PIPA or any other “anti-piracy” legislation from Congress will protect the free flow of information.

posted by southernpatriot
  • I hope they keep trying to censor the internet, they are actually driving anti-censorship technology into maximum warp speed through unintended consequences in establishing a great firewall of America.

    I’m a bit perturbed by sites like reddit and the litany of others responding by threatening to shut down. That is exactly the wrong reaction. Technologists should be redoubling our efforts to make the internet censorship free and government interference free through technical bypass. We can accomplish our goals without stooping to petty political action (internet strike for twelve hours) whatsoever.

    Our goal as webmasters must be 100% uptime around the world in spite of these regulation attempts. Always remember: where there’s a will, there’s a way.

    TL;DR – This is an opportunity to cram freedom up the statists’ asses and it’s being squandered by voluntary censorship.

  • Anonymous

    Obama is an unknown element here, he says one thing and does another. His allegiance is clearly to big media (which wrote SOPA), who he *needs* for re-election due to being such a scumbag on every other issue of freedom.

    • Sledgehammer

      Yeah, apparently the new plan is to quietly push through PIPA or plan C or plan D.

      Activist: Don’t think this issue is quietly dying, it’s just retreating and regrouping. Go in for the kill.

    • Blah

      I agree with you. SOPA and PIPA needs to be stopped now because Obama will be dead set on passing whatever form these bills take. It’s not enough to have Google and Wikipedia. I am not a fool or a baby that will accept censorship disguised as freedom. If SOPA and PIPA passes then America has become slave to the corporations.

  • This could be a late game ploy by the Democrats to make Obama look strong with the veto power so that Paul wouldn’t be able to use that as an effective political weapon in the general debates.

    What we really need is a president like Paul who has the balls to say no enforcing all the BS laws congress wants to pass for the next four years. That would give the libertarian movement enough breathing room to figure out which legislators have to go in order to reel in the empire from the rest of the world.

    We have to give up this empire building nonsense and let our scientists focus on creation and exploring  new worlds, not perpetuating the same old domination and death game on this one.